Software // Enterprise Applications
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11/27/2006
02:57 PM
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Struggling BearingPoint Faces NYSE Delisting, Other Problems

BearingPoint failed to file its annual reports for fiscal 2004 and 2005 on time; it also has failed to file quarterly reports for the past six quarters.

Tech consulting and systems integration provider BearingPoint said its shares could be delisted from trading on the New York Stock Exchange as the company -- which helps the government and Fortune 500 customers plan and implement finance, accounting, and other business systems -- struggles to cope with a litany of financial and legal problems of its own.

BearingPoint, in an annual report for 2005 filed only last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said its ongoing failure to file timely reports with the SEC over the past two years could lead the NYSE to "begin proceedings to delist our common stock." BearingPoint failed to file its annual reports for fiscal 2004 and 2005 on time. It also has failed to file quarterly reports for the past six quarters.

The possible delisting was just one item in a string of bad news disclosed last week by BearingPoint in the filing. The company reported a net loss for fiscal 2005 of $721.6 million, compared with a loss of $546.2 million the previous year. Revenue was flat year-over-year at $3.38 billion. BearingPoint also reported that attrition within its professional ranks was 26.7% in 2005, compared with 22% in 2004.

BearingPoint said its loss in 2005 included $113.3 million incurred due to delays and missed milestones on a contract to build an IT infrastructure for Hawaiian Telcom, which was spun off from Verizon last year. BearingPoint said Hawaiian Telcom is seeking additional compensation for the problems. "The occurrence of additional losses or the payment of additional amounts to the client could materially and adversely affect our profitability," said BearingPoint.

BearingPoint's former corporate parent, accounting company KPMG, also is seeking a sizeable payment from the company. KPMG says it's owed $31.5 million for providing ongoing IT services and support to BearingPoint for a period following BearingPoint's spin-off from KPMG in 2001. BearingPoint said in its report that it is disputing the claim.

BearingPoint also is facing a host of legal problems. The company said it's in the process of responding to separate subpoenas issued by a federal grand jury in California and the U.S. Army requesting information on certain contracting activities with the federal government and Department of Defense.

BearingPoint also said it paid $15.5 million in December 2005 to settle complaints by the Justice Department that it overcharged the government for travel expenses. The Justice Department and the SEC also are investigating BearingPoint for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The allegations involve the improper giving of gifts to Chinese government officials in an attempt to influence contract awards.

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